Keep Calm and Get it Off Your Chest

A Grim Fairy Tale

So, I took a little break from TV and media, anything going on? 

Just kidding.

Blimey! And also, GOOD LORD!  What the fish-and-chips just happened??  We were all just going along, minding our own coronavirus/quarantine/vaccination-schedule business, and WHOOSH!  Our daily news cycle is completely taken over by a couple of rowdy outliers trying to take down the royal family! 

I thought those two were done with big, disruptive moves that get a lot of attention.  I thought they were looking for Privacy.  With a capital P.  But, it turns out there is a difference between Privacy and Security, plus they had a few things they really needed to get off their chests. And if you thought, like I did, that this was NOT essential viewing, and if you also thought, like I did, something along the lines of “Holy hell! Go away! The world is going through so much trauma and difficulty, the last thing we need is to hear from the privileged, self-serving likes of YOU!”, let me just say: you and I were both wrong. Turns out this was

The Interview of the Century

This television event was shocking, troubling, disruptive, and certainly audacious. It covered so much territory that I had to create a Venn Diagram to sort out my thoughts about it:

And do you see that teeny tiny little triangle in the middle of the diagram? Well that would say SKIN TONE, wouldn’t it? What we have here is A Grim Fairy Tale, with all the classic archetypes, except the Princes and Princesses are not “symbolic” or “representational”, they are ACTUAL Princes, etc! Who the characters are in this story depends on how you view this whole mishigas. But think about it: every single person falls into more than just ONE of these archetypes. Take a look:

  • The Hero – This one is quite clear, and I’m sorry, but if you can’t figure it out then your heart is a cold, hard, small thing. Like the Grinch.
  • The Villain – Depends who you ask. I think it rhymes with Marles. But that’s just me. There are quite a few to choose from actually.
  • The Damsel in Distress – Don’t cringe! See “Cinderella”, and even though “We’ve Come A Long Way Baby” and “Girl Power” and “You Go, Girl”, there are still distressed damsels out there.
  • The Ice Queen – I know, right?
  • The Trickster – Mischievous, and a rule-breaker or trouble-maker, who either aids the hero or messes with the hero’s head.
  • The Fairy Godmother – A nurturing, maternalistic presence and a wish-granter, with an interesting backstory of poverty and resentment.

And! There is a Situational Archetype as well: The Battle Between Good and Evil. Now, before I lose you completely, let me clarify that there is plenty of BAD/EVIL/WICKED to go around in this world. And plenty of GOOD/KIND/DECENT as well. It’s not as clear-cut as it is in fairy tales, and not as black-and-white. Pun intended. But there is no denying we are going through a global reckoning with race, right along with our global pandemic, and there is now a new awareness in every corner of every country. Consequently, a new standard is being set. I have certainly learned some stuff myself, and the royal family, that ancient and insular institution, is grappling with it too. They have failed on many levels, but there is always opportunity for change.

Most fairy tales have a “…and they lived happily ever after” ending. Do you think that will happen in this scenario? Is it possible? Hmm. I have a friend who says “Never say never, and never say always.” That may be the most realistic, as well as the most forgiving, view.

Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist (from the Broadway musical “Avenue Q”)

Everyone’s a little bit
Racist, sometimes.
Doesn’t mean we go around committing
Hate crimes.
Look around and
You will find,
No one’s really
Color-blind.
Maybe it’s a fact
We all should face.
Everyone makes
Judgments…
Based on race.

If we all could
Just admit
That we are racist
A little bit,
Even though we all
Know that it’s wrong,
Maybe it would help
Us get along!

Everyone’s a little bit
Racist, it’s true.
But everyone is just about
As racist as you!
If we all could just admit
That we are racist a little bit,
And everyone
Stopped being so P.C.,
Maybe we could
Live in — harmony!

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